Power should stem the Fury
OPINION: If Joseph Parker can take the composure he’s shown during fight week into the ring on fight night he should go well.
Parker has looked every bit the champion as he has paraded his WBObelt around London and Manchester, earning warm respect and keeping a cool demeanour under some trying circumstances.
The weigh-in scuffle was a classic case of Parker getting a mental edge over Fury on the eve of the fight, smiling off the challenger’s persistent taunts and quietly delivering the payout line that eventually saw the Englishman snap.
It was an occasion that also gave Parker some idea of what awaits in the Manchester Arena.
There was a decent crowd at the National Football Museum in the heart of this sports-mad city for the weigh-in.
They warmed to their locals on the undercard as the lightweights and middleweights stepped on to the scales.
It ramped up for the arrival of the heavyweights though.
They were courteous to Parker as he arrived, just as they have been everywhere he has gone.
But once Fury stepped up on stage, things took on another dimension.
It got loud and it got ugly. There were taunts and slurs and Fury’s fans were egging him on to do something radical which he duly obliged.
Those same passionate fans will be baying for Parker’s blood as he enters the arena and climbs between the ropes.
This is new territory for Parker who is usually the star of the show in the comforts of home in New Zealand or in Samoa. In his fights in the United States and Germany he’s been an undercard act.
He’s the main event in Manchester, a fighter in enemy territory, the man carrying the world championship belt that everyone wants returned to the Furys and the northern city.
They are a passionate mob here and they are used to success from their first family of boxing.
Parker has been relishing his new surroundings. He liked London and appreciated the increased attention he got daily as the fight got nearer and nearer. Things were very civil in Manchester too, until now.
Parker is here to get known and he’s made a good start in that quest with his demeanour out of the ring but it’s only actions in the ring that will prove his point.
Logic suggests Parker, with his superior experience, activity and power should win this fight. But logic has a tendency to go out the window when it comes to boxing, especially the heavyweight ranks where one punch can truly make a difference.